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The Culling 2: Literally The Worst Launch Of All Time

The past decade has seen some spectacularly poor launch performances in gaming. Among those most talked about are the infamous Lawbreakers and the underwhelming Battleborn. There were also titles such as Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite, which were marred by such awful press and PR coverage during their pre-release periods that the game’s hopes were up before they began.

All of these games had tiny playerbases at launch, but at least those playerbases were enough to get a few games going. To this day, games such as Marvel vs Capcom Infinite have small but dedicated fanbases that continue to keep them alive to some extent, small packs of dedicated individuals that, due to one reason or another, the general public never accepted as worthy products.

And even out of all those, The Culling 2 is, no question, The Absolute Worst video game launch of all time. This is not an exaggeration.

For those unfamiliar, The Culling 1 was essentially the game that invented the “Battle Royale” game genre. And it was pretty good, with a dedicated following, decently fun experiences and some very interesting skill-based melee combat. Over time, however, the development team appeared to ignore the cries of the fanbase, again and again making changes that none of the players wanted, and altering the core experience in ways that no one asked for. The infamous Thanksgiving Day Patch changed almost the entire core game in a way that many players felt dumbed down the experience greatly and made it a shell of its former self.

Eventually, after many similar instances, the game was abandoned by all but the most dedicated of fans. The players that remained were nowhere near enough for the team to justify continuing development, so they ceased their work on the title.

I have not played The Culling 2. But I have read the steam reviews. Here’s what some (None too pleased) fans have to say about the long-awaited sequel to the game that started it all:

Steam user Kaffe says:

“This is NOT The Culling. It contains NO elements of the original Culling. (…) DO NOT BUY. (…) I’ve played alphas that play better than this.”

Steam user Farlight says:

“I stubbed my toe on the way to install this game. That was the most enjoyable part of the experience.”

Steam user Rubber says:

“DOA”

 

“DOA” stands for Dead on Arrival. Usually, this term is more of a joke than an actual phrase. In concept, it refers to a game that has so few players that, from the very moment after launch, it is impossible to find a game, and therefore, impossible to play. Obviously, this requires not only a bad launch, but such poor publicity that sub-100 people worldwide purchase and play the game on launch day.

Essentially, it never happens.

Despite how hard The Culling 2 tried.

According to the Steam Launch data for this game, on the very hour of launch, it had 160 concurrent players. The hour after that saw that number drop to almost half, or 88 players. The hour after that? 76, then 64, 54, then 35.

A full match requires 50 players. This game became unplayable a mere five hours after launch. FIVE HOURS. An average game takes about an hour or forty minutes to completion. So if these numbers are accurate, less than ten full games ever happened.

In comparison, the previously mentioned “failures” were gigantic successes. Battleborn had a launch community of a little over 12,000 players, Lawbreakers had just under 7,500 and Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite had just under 3,600. Even now, long after all of these games have been declared “dead” by the gaming public, there exist enough players online every day to get in at least a few matches. For Battleborn and Lawbreakers, with team-based multiplayer matches, that means around 50 to 70 daily players – nothing to write home about, but enough to get to know a game’s population like a small town community. In that sense, it’s kind of a unique experience. The game is your own little middle school chess club.

The Culling 2 launched on July 10th. 50 Players are needed to start up a full game. And in the past 24 hours, as of today, July 14th, 3 people have played it.

3.

Forget the Fortnite rocket launch. This is history in the making.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Caroline Walker

    July 16, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    I hate when sequels change too much to be different than the original. The original is popular for a reason.

  2. Stefanie Wad

    July 17, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    I wonder what the creative heads were thinking in making the second so different from the first.

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